The jetty at Pigeon Point at sunset, Tobago

Tropical: Trinidad & Tobago

July 9, 2016

After pulling off the wedding of your dreams, it’s finally time to relax, breathe, and enjoy each other. Where better than a Caribbean paradise? Jet to the tiny island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, where you’ll kick back on sandy beaches, float in aqua-blue waters, and explore lush rainforests with their abundant wildlife. From electric street festivals to cove-side picnics for two, there’s a wealth of experiences just waiting for you in this treasure of the Caribbean.

A Bit About Trinidad and Tobago

With just your passport and a five-hour flight from New York City, you’ll find yourself in the tropical haven of Trinidad and Tobago. The nation is made up of two islands – the smaller Tobago and larger Trinidad. Like other islands in the Caribbean, there’s a dry season and rainy season; the best time to visit is January through May. Once your plane lands, it’s easy to get around via bus, rental car, taxi, and ferry. Though Trinidad and Tobago has its own currency, US Dollars are widely accepted, as are most major credit cards – but keep in mind that small shops, street vendors, and local bars might not accept American money.

For the Beach Bums

Imagine a picture-postcard of the Caribbean – what do you see? Sprawling white-sand beaches, towering palm trees, clear turquoise waters, and rustic beach huts. That postcard image is exactly what you’ll find at Trinidad and Tobago’s most famous beach, Pigeon Point. This spot is the most photographed, the most visited, and the most likely to show up on your honeymoon Pinterest board. To avoid the cruise crowds, check Scarborough Harbor to see if a cruise ship is docked. If so, come back to Pigeon Point another day for a more peaceful experience.

Craving even more peace and quiet? Pack a picnic for Englishman’s Bay. This beach is less touristy but just as picturesque with its palm-lined sandy shore. Another option is Castara Bay, a small fishing village that welcomes visitors but hasn’t given itself up to tourism. This is a great place to stop for a taste of local life and cuisine, as the daily catch is served fresh from the bay.

For the Nature Lovers

As if beaches and umbrella drinks aren’t enough to lure you to the Caribbean, there’s also a tropical kaleidoscope just waiting to be explored. The natural wonders of Trinidad and Tobago are a huge draw- for instance, did you know that Tobago is often referred to as the “Galapagos of the West Indies”? The island offers rich natural diversity, including rainforests, mangroves, and coral reefs.

The Main Ridge Forest Reserve, home to over 400 species of birds, is the oldest nature sanctuary in the western hemisphere. Also on Tobago, don’t miss the Argyle Waterfall, a stunning 600-foot fall in the shadow of a lush cocoa plantation (now retired). The cascades are perfect for sunning and swimming. On Tobago’s coasts, you’ll find many glass-bottom boat tours offering a peek into the underwater wonders of coral reefs.

On the island of Trinidad, visit the Asa Wright Nature Centre in the Northern Range Forest Reserve. This 1,500-acre wildlife sanctuary surrounding a vintage plantation estate is yet another amazing spot for tropical bird spotting, so bring your binoculars! Closer to the water, you might be lucky enough to catch other wildlife in action: March through August is turtle-watching season as the leather-back sea turtles return to the shores of Trinidad for nesting.

While you can explore nature on foot, by boat, or with the help of a guide, Trinidad and Tobago also offers lots of outdoor activities for the more independent. Most sporty activities (rainforest and waterfall hikes aside) happen on the water. If you’re looking to dive, snorkel, scuba dive, or deep sea fish in Caribbean-blue waters, Trinidad and Tobago is the place to do it.

Exodus steel orchestra band members
Exodus steel orchestra band members perform in downtown Port of Spain, Trinidad.
John de la Bastide /

For the Culture Curious and Party People

The allure of Trinidad and Tobago doesn’t stop at nature. With its unique blend of influences – European, African, Asian, and Indian – the culture is filled with unique history and eye-popping traditions. If you’re curious about local historical sites, be sure to visit Fort Saint George, a remnant of colonial days. Here, you’ll learn about Tobago’s military history and catch spectacular views of the Port of Spain.

Also on Tobago, you can tour the Tobago Cocoa Estate. The place has only been around since 2005, but the island’s history with cocoa as a cash crop dates back much further. The estate offers tours of its modern, eco-friendly facility along with a look back at the history of cocoa on the island. Tours are capped off with a rum and chocolate tasting.

Packing your party pants? Then plan your Trinidad and Tobago trip during one of the many festivals that bring the islands’ diverse culture to life. The yearly Carnival is consistently ranked one of the top 10 in the world with its barrage of steel drum bands and bejeweled masquerade costumes. If you’re vacationing in March, you might catch Phagwah – the Festival of Color – where you’re likely to be hit with a rainbow of water.

November heralds the Steel Pan Jazz Festival, drawing international performers to the islands. Fun fact: The steel drum actually originated in Trinidad and Tobago, along with calypso music and the limbo. You better believe this is an island nation that knows how to let loose.

Why Honeymoon?

We don’t have to tell you the Caribbean is one of the most peaceful, pristine places to honeymoon – the pictures surely speak for themselves. But even more than luxury and relaxation, Trinidad and Tobago offers lots of opportunities to explore unique, untouched ecosystems on land and sea. With its colorful culture and festivals galore, this is a honeymoon destination that really has it all – and it’s just a short plane ride away!